09 Dec 2011 The perfect business case – like taking a gun to a knife fight
We all know that procurement can be undervalued in many organizations. It’s an easy target and securing investment for an innovative idea can be an up hill battle. But it’s hardly surprising. Procurement aren’t the best at selling themselves and they’re not not the only one fighting for a share of a finite investment resource. It’s not a problem unique to procurement of course it applies universally. To secure investment and commitment you have to be able to tell a convincing story. You have to know how to prepare a compelling business case but more important than that, you have to be better than the other guy.
This isn’t the time for courtesy. Don’t be fooled by feigned camaraderie. The other guys will rip you to shreds in the blink of an eye. They’ll see you destroyed and humiliated if it means they win the funding. You can’t let it happen. All you need is a few simple guidelines and you can put together a winning presentation. A water tight pitch that will beat any competition. The perfect business case – it’s like taking a gun to a knife fight.
This is s a bit strong, I admit but it is true. Many professionals whether in procurement, finance, marketing, wherever – really talented professionals – have no idea how to build a business case. They’re just not familiar with some of the basic metrics that are used to asses whether an investment is worthwhile and, crucially they fail to recognize that they are in competition. Having a good idea, even a great idea, whether it pays for itself or not will be looked at alongside a stack of other good ideas.
But building the compelling business case doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact I’d go so far as to say it is easy. Please don’t misunderstand, selling a big idea requires a great deal of effort but the bare bones of the business case – the numbers that justify the effort – should always be presented in a standard form. There are some basic essentials that need to be in there and know what these are and how to calculate them is an essential business skill.
We’ve compiled a simple – and I mean simple – guide to building a compelling business case. You don’t need to be an Excel guru or a mathematical genius. It’s in four parts. You can find them here: